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What's the best way to spend the Fourth of July? With a good book in hand, of course!
On Monday, Jenna Bush Hager announced her #ReadWithJenna book club selection for the month, and it's the type of fun read that pairs perfectly with sunny beach days and a long holiday weekend.
Jenna's pick for June is "Evvie Drake Starts Over" by Linda Holmes.
"Evvie Drake Starts Over" by Linda Holmes, $18 (originally $26), Amazon
The first novel from Holmes (who's best known as the host of NPR's "Pop Culture Happy Hour" podcast) follows the titular character a year after the death of her husband.
"I was captivated by Evvie Drake right away," said Jenna. "By the character of Evvie — and her predicament of finding herself as a young widow and trying to find herself after being in this marriage and being in this relationship since high school."
When she's introduced to some fresh faces, Evvie forges a new friendship that has the potential to turn into something more. But the story's more thoughtful than your typical rom-com.
"In a lot of romantic comedies, you kind of know exactly what’s going to happen," Jenna said. "You know exactly the character's motivation, which is to find the guy. And really, I think (Evvie's) motivation is to find herself. And to me that felt really empowering and fresh."
"Now, does she find a guy, too? That I can't tell you," Jenna joked.
Part of what immediately pulls readers in is the dialogue-heavy style that feels so realistic.
"You could really hear Evvie’s voice," Jenna explained. "You can imagine sitting at that kitchen table and having a conversation with her, because these conversations feel so realistic that they're like conversations we've all had."
We'll be giving away copies of "Evvie Drake Starts Over" to followers starting today, and you can expect even more surprises throughout the month. In order to be entered, follow the Read With Jenna Instagram account and comment on the post above explaining why you or your book club deserve a copy of the book by using #ReadWithJenna.
Adding to the familiarity of the characters, the story takes place in a small town in Maine — a place that holds a special meaning for Jenna.
"The sense of setting is so strong," she said. "As somebody who has visited Maine every year of my life, I felt like I was there."
Above all, it's just a great book to toss in your tote and read on a sunny day.
"It's the perfect summer read. It's light, it's fun," Jenna said. "I left wanting more!"
To stay involved all month long, be sure to follow us on Instagram (don't forget to tag your photos with the hashtag, #ReadWithJenna), join our Read With Jenna Facebook group and follow along on Goodreads to continue the conversation about "Evvie Drake Starts Over."
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Void where prohibited. Legal residents of the 50 US or DC who are 18 or older. Begins July 1, 2019 at 8:30 AM ET and ends July 2, 2019 at 5:00 PM ET. Limit 1 entry per person. To enter, and for Official Rules, odds, and prize details, visit the official rules page. Sponsors: TODAY Show and NBCUniversal Media, LLC.